Digging into crime: Perception, reality, politics

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It can be misleading when local leaders respond to the perception of crime rather than the data itself, says LA Times columnist Erika Smith. Photo by Shutterstock.

LA city officials are responding to a rise in violent crime, and news headlines are painting a dramatic picture. But what are the real numbers versus public perception, and how does that play into the politics of crime? 

LA District Attorney George Gascón is facing a lot of resistance and a second recall attempt. There’s no evidence that his policies are tied to any rise in crime, but if some voters think that’s the truth, the recall will succeed, says The New York Times’ Jennifer Medina.